Gene Haas Foundation Gifts $1 Million

When Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) drivers Danica Patrick and Ryan Newman wheel their Chevrolets onto the track for the Sept. 29 AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, their racecars will spotlight the Gene Haas Foundation and its most recent grant recipient: the Society of Manufacturing Engineers – Education Foundation (SME-Education Foundation).

The Gene Haas Foundation, formed in 1999 by SHR co-owner Gene Haas, recently gifted $1 million to the SME-Education Foundation with the money designated for scholarships in manufacturing training and education. The scholarships will benefit as many as 1,000 students entering machinist training programs in the United States and abroad.

The scholarship application can be found at www.smeef.org/scholarships/page/gene-haas-machine-technology-scholarships.

“This gift from the Gene Haas Foundation allows us to open up multiple pathways for students,” said Bart Aslin, CEO of the SME-Education Foundation. “Companies engaged in machining technology are searching for skilled machinists, but they are hard to find. The Gene Haas Machining Technology Scholarship allows us to address this problem by providing the proper education and skills necessary for a successful career in the machining industry.”

Providing scholarship funds to community colleges and vocational schools for students entering technical training programs, especially machinist-based certificate and degree programs, is of particular interest to the Gene Haas Foundation. Haas is the founder of Oxnard, Calif.-based Haas Automation, the largest and most modern machine tool builder in the western world.

“As a leader in the machine tool industry, I see firsthand the continued need to build a qualified workforce through machining training and education,” Haas said. “It’s very important to me, personally, to help secure this training for future machinists in our industry, which is why the Gene Haas Foundation chose to make a $1 million grant to the SME-Education Foundation this year for scholarships.

“These scholarships will help prepare people for manufacturing careers, and in turn, help the manufacturing industry obtain qualified people for the hundreds of thousands of unfilled manufacturing jobs in our county. Workforce development is a key way to improve the lives of so many while also helping to build a stronger economy for all. I’m very happy to support the SME-Education Foundation, and I’m looking forward to seeing their logos on our racecars this weekend in Dover.”

Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet will carry the Gene Haas Foundation and SME-Education Foundation logos on its lower rear quarter panels, while Newman’s No. 39 State Water Heaters Chevrolet will feature SME-Education Foundation logos on its C-post.

Students interested in applying for a scholarship can do so by visiting www.smeef.org. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the cost of the applicant’s program. A scholarship committee will review the applications as they are submitted to ensure minimum eligibility requirements are met. The SME-Education Foundation will then send the scholarship funds directly to the recipient’s school.

“Having our logo on Stewart-Haas Racing’s cars at Dover will bring attention to our Foundation, driving traffic to our Website, www.smeef.org, where more people can learn about the wide array of careers in the machining industry,” Aslin said.

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